NZ Book Council shows how the greats inspire the greats via Colenso

Last month we wrote about a clever ad we saw on the back of AUT’s Debate magazine, which looked like an old library list showing the generations of great minds and talents who had been inspired by George Orwell’s 1984. We’ve now learned more about the campaign, which includes other influential texts such as the Holy Bible and Romeo and Juliet with the goal of exploring how digital natives view great pieces of literature in an online world.

The first ad we discovered from the campaign featured the library list of Orwell’s dystopian classic 1984 and included the signatures of some influential characters from the 20th and 21st centuries and the apparent dates of which they “borrowed” the book.

The Romeo and Juliet execution has the signatures from the likes of Sigmund Freud, Walt Disney Taylor Swift, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kanye West, New Zealand’s own Taika Waititi and others, dating from 1785 to 2006.

A third execution features The Holy Bible (old and new testaments), arguably the most influential piece of text of all time with more well-known signatures including Johnny Cash, J.K. Rowling, Adolf Hitler, Hustler founder Larry Flynt’s signature, alongside which looks like a cheeky pair of breasts and Madonna dating from 1497 to 2008.

The campaign shows how “Books have always shaped the people who shaped our world”, according to NZ Book Council’s website. “Each of the three executions features the familiar library card and bares the signature of important and culturally significant individuals who’ve been influenced by that particular book.”

NZ Book Council chief executive officer Catriona Ferguson says “Our mission is to champion readers, writers, and books in New Zealand – and this campaign is going to help. We’re incredibly excited about this idea and as this is only the beginning of what we see its full potential to be.”

Colenso BBDO creative chairman Nick Worthington says “Everyone that worked on this campaign is passionate about reading, and are thrilled to think some of that might rub off on people who aren’t.”

StopPress has contacted Colenso to find out a few more details about the campaign and is awaiting a response.


Creative Chairman: Nick Worthington

Art Director: Scott Kelly

Art Director: Brent Courtney

Copywriter: Ben Polkinghorne

Business Director: Katherine Sliper

Planning Director: Neville Doyle

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